Independence is the right of every nation. That statement is clearly displayed in the Indonesian Constitution of 1945 and one of the realization of independence is education. Why? Because education holds an important role for the growth of a nation. Children who are taught by excellent educators will produce a bright generation. Besides sufficient facilities, creating a quality education throughout the nation must be supported by qualified teachers. That’s why the government of Indonesia puts special attention to the Papuan teachers.
Not long ago, the central government, through the Director General of Teachers and Education Personnel, Ministry of education and Culture (Kemendikbud), Sumarna Supranata, has presented the support for 1.000 Papuan teachers. The support was in the form of scholarship in Universities in Papua.
“In order to improve the quality of Papuan teachers in Merauke District, Kemendikbud will give scholarship for 1,000 teachers in Merauke who want to achieve higher education of S1 (Bachelor Degree), said Sumarna through his written explanation, in Thursday (21/07/2016) as quoted from NGI.
Referring to the Key Data on Education (Dapodik), there are still a lot of teachers in Merauke who have yet to achieve their S1 Degree in every school level. According to the data, non graduate teachers in kindergarten are 192 teachers, in elementary School the are 983 teachers, in Special Needs School or SLB the are 9 teachers, in Junior High-school the are 164 teachers, in High-school there are 47 teachers, and in Vocational school there are 52 teachers.
Sumarna also said, that the 1,000 teachers will be grouped in four. The four groups will be enlisted to four assigned universities or institutions, which are Cendrawasih University, Open University, Musamus University, and Working Groups with programs that will be carried out in Merauke using Recognition of Prior Learning and Work (PPKHB) mechanism.
In accordance with the mechanism, the time needed for the teachers to complete Bachelor Degree is quite short. Only 33 percents of the normal Credit Semester. Another exception given by the government is that the college activity can be done whether face to face or online. This has been decided by Kemendikbud since these teachers are actively teaching in schools in Papua, hence they won’t leave their responsibilities as teachers.
This teacher scholarship program is a part of the Regulation of Minister of National Education (Permendiknas) Number 58 of 2008, regarding the Implementation of Bachelor Degree Education Program for Active Teachers. In Article 5 Paragraph 7, it is explained that universities can give PPKHB that has been previously achieved, whether from formal or non formal education. This is intended to lessen the study load of the teachers.
Education in Papua is a serious matter in Indonesia. With the improvement of teachers’ quality, they are expected to be educators who are not only transferring knowledge but also able to understand the difficulties and problems of the Papuan children to get education such as minimum facilities, and the far distance to school. With higher education, the teachers can also get financial welfare such as teacher’s allowance.